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Adding DAB

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by Triple.O.G, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Triple.O.G
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    Triple.O.G Active Member

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    Dudes, hopefully someone can point me in the right direction here?

    I have an 07 A4 with RNSE, I want DAB radio, is there anything I can buy to get DAB without replacing the RNSE?

    There is a couple of sh*ty looking things at Halfords but I think all they do is widen the range of your exsisting DAB radio?

    TIA.
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  2. s8craig
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    s8craig Active Member

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    DAB is not the easiest thing to fit, getting a good signal is difficult without nasty antennas stuck into the glass etc.

    I have tried two solutions so far....

    Sonichi S1000 DAB receiver from "Halfords", now this suprised me as even without the antenna reception was pretty dam good in my A2. The unit was mounted on the dash and power was fed from the fuse box. Then the aux lead ran to the RNS-E and went into the AUX input (enabled) on the RNS-E. Reception was pretty dam good with dropouts in the same places as my A7 with factory DAB. It improved even more with an active roof shark fin for DAB. But that was quite expensive compared to a glass mount. But my friend bought a Sonichi for his A3 and he said reception was poor until he used the supplied antenna, so maybe the A3 shields the signal better than my A2. But for £89.99 it's a good unit and the sound quality is excellent fed through the AUX input.

    I now use the AutoDAB in car DAB receiver and it's a bit of a nightmare to be honest. It is not designed for the RNS-E, it is only for concert/symphony/chorus according to the blurb, but I thought I'd give it a try. It's not cheap at £189 and it comes with a glass mount antenna and it requires a MFSW to control it. When used with the RNS-E it comes in through the ZF connection and I have all sorts of signal issues with drop out, cross talk, brake pedal noise. I have been testing it for about 6 weeks and I'm just about there now with a solution that works, but I still get cross talk from channels that are close on the FM transmitting frequencies. Obviously it depends where I'm driving too as different stations kick in around the country. See if you can find a free bit of FM space between 87.5 and 108.5 that isn't used anywhere in the UK. The DAB reception is particularly flakey, nowehere near as good as the Sonichi or my A7, even with the roof antenna it drops out all over the place for no reason with just the message NO SIGNAL or POOR SIGNAL and it's not consistent. So my message to Connects 2 would be fix the reception issues and you may have a winning product.

    So in summary, I like the sound quality and reception of the Sonichi, but I like the user interface of the AutoDAB.
    #2
  3. fARQUARE
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    fARQUARE Member

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    I recently fitted the sonechi head unit to my b5 a4 avant. I have no issues with the head unit at all and for just over 100 I dont think you can go wrong.

    Biggest challenge was fitting the aerial, I settled for the following installation:
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  4. fARQUARE
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    fARQUARE Member

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    sorry - couldnt upload photo from my phone.

    I ended up drilling a hole in front of the aerial base through the plastic base and also through the roof skin. I was then able to feed the digital whip up through these holes to give me something like this:

    [​IMG]

    I think this, whilst not perfect is a much better solution than having a second aerial on the roof.

    The base of the sonechi aerial is magnetic, i ended up breaking the base down so i was left with the copper core of the wire soldered to the base of the whip and the shielding soldered to the magnet out of the basee which i then stuck to the inside of the roof. You might not have to do this if youy have space between the headlining and the roof skin but because of the inner vag aerial workings and the boot light which is huge space was an issue.

    The reception is perfect but as a seperate note id say that for about 2 months i had the areal lying horizontally between the c and d pilllars and even then the reception was pretty good.

    The headunit its-self is good, i like the bluetooth conectivity which is better than some head units ive had (you get names on the display, not just numbers) and the external mic sounds pretty good too.
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  5. s8craig
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    s8craig Active Member

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    You changed the headunit, whereas we are looking at add on units. I had the same sonichi antenna but never fitted it. I opted for a 4 in 1 solution from blaupunkt that has DAB/GPS/GSM/FM all in one and this has become my roof antenna.
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  6. fARQUARE
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    fARQUARE Member

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    While the aftermarket units arent the most OEM looking I really dont like having external units like dab add ons or sat nav cluttering up the cabin with wires etc.
    Worth a shot for 110
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  7. s8craig
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    s8craig Active Member

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    I'm of the same opinion, less stuff on the dash the better. Which is why I tried the Autodab that fully integrates, but it requires a MFSW and probably wasn't available when you did your headunit swap as it's pretty new.
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  8. _G_
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    _G_ Member

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    I don't know if this helps but at the moment.. I am using a dension gateway 100 for my iphone.. I also use an app called Tune In radio on the iphone.. and use wifi/3G to access 100's of radio stations. I get free wifi and a decent signal pretty much everywhere in London... the only downside is that I cannot change stations without accessing the iphone in the glovebox but I can repeat/rewind the radio as it buffers into the iphone memory - which is quite cool as I heard a song I liked and could repeat track by track or go right to the start of the show which was 30 minutes ago! Just a thought.
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  9. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    I'd previously had a Pure Highway DAB unit, which provides a DAB output via a 3.5mm jack or via FM broadcast.

    That in my Mk3 Golf Cabrio, with a windscreen-mounted aerial that was VERY impressive for signal.

    I was thinking about getting one of those and just installing it in my cubby-hole: I already have the 2x audio lines in with my Freeview TV tuner and also a couple of 12V sockets, so should be a low stress install.

    [​IMG]

    I'll have minimal integration, but at least it will be tidy! Any other recommendations that also come in at <£100?
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  10. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi, Potnoodles, do I understand you right? With an iPhone fed to the RNS-E via Gateway 100, it will play the signal from a radio app through the car speakers, is that right?
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  11. Stol1975
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    Stol1975 Member

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    I've just fitted autodab and my signal is shocking. What solution have you come up with? I'm really annoyed that I spent money on this and it's unusable on the move.
    #11
  12. s8craig
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    s8craig Active Member

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    Send it back and get a media DAB, it's a much better product for reception and signal injection.
    #12
  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    With DAB it's all down to the aerial, **** aerial, **** signal.
    I use InTune app on my iphone when on the train, but it's really hit or miss, can't imagine using it in the car - really dangerous
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  14. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    Or you could get Audi to retro-fit it... Oh yeah, that's £850!
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